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Features Project

New features and enhancements with significant impact on overall TWiki functionality, viewed from the User, Admin, and Dev/Installer perspectives.

Is there a core TWiki feature set?

CommonWiki (Ward Cunningham - c2.com)

This list, imported from CommonWiki on c2.com, is a good starting point. It applies to all areas of TWiki, but seems particularly useful for the FeaturesProject. Commented below (uncommented version):

"Given the large number of clones and ports of Wiki, one would wonder: Could a standard, or base Wiki be made? Assuming the answer is yes, what are some fundamental capabilities that wiki developers need in their copies of Wiki?"

  • Ability to customize how wiki works, using one's preferred language, to make it well suited for particular tasks.
  • Portable to a range of variously limited platforms - or, at least, the core pieces can be ported. Should be runnable on a "complete" system, and on ones where certain things (rcs, perl5, etc.) are missing.
  • Page changes can be incorporated to a given page in various ways (replacing old page, merging, appending...)
  • Preprocessing is done on the file prior to display to the page user. The file can be preprocessed in a variety of (oft-customized) means. Extra things can be added to the page beyond the editable text.
  • Hyperlinks can be indicated in a variety of ways.
  • What happens when the user clicks the edit or save buttons are often customized.
  • Wiki keeps track of additional information about a page besides just the editable text.
  • One can perform iterative operations on a set of pages in the site.
  • Access to and editing of pages can be controlled in various ways. Wiki knows a little about each user and can act differently depending on who they are.
  • Pages can be grouped into one or more "topics", and different kinds of information can be tracked for different topics.
  • How would one design things to avoid future forks and fragmentation? see Wiki:AvoidingWikiForks
  • What could be done to make it easier to install and configure wiki?
  • Does the current wiki architecture support all of the needs listed above? If not, does a particular architecture suggest itself from the requirements?
  • Would there be any value in considering alternate licenses besides GPL?
  • What should Wiki not be designed to be used for? What are its bounds? (Or are there none?)
  • What could be done about "reading in" various other formats (i.e. mbox, mmdf, etc...)

A simple 3-point UseModWiki-convert POV

The basics of a wiki (with regards to UseModWiki), insofar as it works for me and the people I work with are:

  • Dead simple markup that anyone can learn quickly
  • Dead simple page creation and linking
  • RecentChanges? and full text searching

Otherwise, the system gets out of our way and lets us work as fast as we can think of things to populate it with. As we get into working with the thing, we start to wish for more. ie. Versioning, in-browser diagram editing (like TWikiDrawPlugin), more topic structure, etc...

But, the thing is with TWiki, I'd like to see an easy introduction to these further features. The experience with my users has been "Oh, that's all there is to it?" And then a week or two later "Oh, and if I go further in, it does these things too?"

I showed TWiki to a more technical coworker, and his immediate response was "Yikes, what the heck do all those links do? That'll scare the heck out of the project manager. Clutter hell!"

So, while it's nice to have the TWiki and Know and Test webs out of the box to play with, it'd be very nice to have a super-simple distro of TWiki that comes with almost nothing, and hides the advanced features by at least one link away from immediate view. It might be anathema to the PowerUser?, but I doubt an of my intranet users will ever be a PowerUser?.

-- LesOrchard - 27 Jan 2002 - SimplerTWikiDistribution

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Topic revision: r8 - 2002-05-13 - MikeMannix
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